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Defensive Display Delights Barker

26 December 2013

Boss thrilled with Pompey's desire against Daggers

Richie Barker was delighted with a dogged defensive display against Dagenham & Redbridge.

The Blues had kept just one clean sheet in 11 matches before taking to the pitch on Boxing Day.

But Trevor Carson was a virtual spectator for most of the afternoon against the Daggers.

Romain Padovani scored the only goal of the game, heading home Ricky Holmes’ corner late in the first half.

But it was Pompey’s performance at the other end of the pitch that Barker was most pleased about.

The Blues boss said: “I told the lads at half-time that this could be the confidence boost they were looking for.

“We had done our homework on Dagenham and we knew set-pieces would be important because they’re susceptible to them.

“We played well before the break, but we knew that the second half wouldn’t be the same.

“To be fair, though, they did everything we asked of them and showed plenty of desire.

“After the game I like to ask the goalkeeper how many saves he made and Trevor said none, although I thought he mopped up pretty well.

“The back four stuck at their task well – especially bearing it mind it was a rearranged defence.”

Padovani’s goal was his first in English football since joining the Blues from Monaco in the summer.

Barker said: “I thought Romain was excellent. He’s been chomping at the bit, waiting for his chance.

“He worked extremely hard and he’s very calm on the ball, but it’ll take him a while to get where he wants to be because he hasn’t played a lot of football.”

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